I often think of rhythm as the webbing that holds are weeks together. Without sending children to school and without working a consistant schedule, I find that having a strong home rhythm is even more important.
We generally use meal times as our rhythm anchors. Our rhythm hasn’t changed much since the fall, which I am very grateful for but it will very soon since I’m 38 weeks today! I’m eager to see how our little Gavin fits into the rhythm and how it will need to be adjusted for his needs. I find that the beautiful thing about rhythm rather than routine, it can ebb and flow to fit our lives.
When you are reading this, please note that these times are fairly flexible.
~ 7:00 Morning Rhythm
Lydia wakes up. I have been trying to have a little art “invitation to play” set up for her. She loves it. I also usually give her a tiny serving of fresh fruit to hold her over until I make breakfast. I prep this the night before so it is super simple.
We begin with bit of outdoor playtime, lately straight for the sandbox, sidewalk chalk or pool. She tends to stay close to the house in the early morning.
Breakfast- We still do a variation of eggs almost everyday for breakfast. Lydia sometimes requests oatmeal or yogurt so I accommodate those easy requests. I make our lunch smoothies while I am already in the kitchen.
After breakfast, we naturally settle in to read books while I have a little more coffee.
Then it is free-play, usually indoors, but these summer months pull us outside too. This is when I do household chores like laundry.
~10:00 Morning Adventure
I have been blessed with friends and an incredible play-based community. This lends itself from doing great developmental exploring any day of the week. I have been trying to be very mindful about what we agree to join in on. I look at proximity, time outside, child-led interest and my own enjoyment.
Mondays- Home Day
Tuesdays- “Mom Mom” time. Lydia spends the morning with my mom.
Wednesdays- Roots+Wings Playschool
Thursday- Home Day
Friday- Playdate, usually at a local coffee shop with a playground!
We have snack time during our morning adventure. This is usually fresh fruit and some type of nut or seed.
We try to get home from our adventures for lunch most days. I could push it and keep us out longer, but the flow of our afternoon works so much better when we are back by 12:30 or 1:00pm.
Lunch is smoothies and often something crunchy like crackers to satisfy our snacky needs. I keep a big basket of library books in our dining room so they don’t get mixed up with our other books. We read these while she eats.
We usually do lunch at the dining room table. In the summer, we tend to gather on the porch though.
~1:00 Quiet Time
My daughter doesn’t nap anymore but this post-lunch time remains very dear to my heart. She plays quietly in the room and reads stories with me. Once in awhile, if she isn’t sleeping and I feel like she needs some shut off time, she watches a show.
I often have the white noise machine going at this time. We have one that has a timer, so after some quiet play, if I need a break, I set the timer and she knows she has to stay in her room until it turns off.
Potty Training hint: Put a mini potty in the room to stop the “neeeeeed” to come out of the room to go.
~3:00 Free Play
Our afternoons remain our free play time at home. We explore in the backyard, create art in the playroom and just bop around. Generally this is a two hour time block, even in the summer heat or the winter cold. This is when I tend to the garden, clean up the yard and water plants.
~5:00 Dinner Prep
I retreat the the kitchen to prep dinner. Lydia often helps me with this prep or plays with play dough or draws at her little bench right by the kitchen.
Lately she has been into audio books. I put on a story for her from Spotify, get out a book that matches the story and pull out a felt set that matches the story. She loves this and will often listen to fairy tales 3 or 4 times while I finish dinner prep. I try to clean all the dishes that I can while I go so after dinner clean up goes fast.
This is part of the day that I know will be harder with a newborn. Ayy!
We gather, as a family, at the dinner table. She sits and chats with my husband and I at the dinner table until she is full. After awhile, she is free to go play in the playroom, directly off our dining room, while we remain at the table.
~6:00 Family Time
Kitchen clean up. Playroom clean up. Family playtime or stroller walk.
~6:30 Bedtime Routine
Sometimes she hops in the shower or bath, depending on her level of dirt. But it is always brush teeth, books then bed. We do about twenty minutes of reading and then its time for her to go to bed.